The Easy Guide: How to Load Fishing Line on a Reel with Expert Tips

How to Load Fishing Line on a Reel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Anglers


Fishing is an exhilarating outdoor activity that offers the perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. However, one essential aspect of fishing that often goes unnoticed is how to properly load fishing line on a reel. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through each step of the process, ensuring you have the knowledge needed to achieve optimal performance when casting your line.

Step 1: Selecting the Right Fishing Line

The first crucial step in loading your reel with fishing line is choosing the right type and weight for your specific needs. Consider factors such as water conditions, target species, and personal preference. Options include monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines – each offering distinct advantages depending on your requirements.

Monofilament Lines

Monofilament lines are affordable and versatile options suitable for various angling situations. They offer good knot strength but may exhibit higher visibility compared to other types of lines in certain instances.

Fluorocarbon Lines

If stealthiness is paramount or if you are targeting particularly skittish fish species, consider using fluorocarbon lines. These lines possess excellent abrasion resistance properties while maintaining low visibility underwater.

Braided Lines

Braided lines excel in terms of strength-to-diameter ratio and sensitivity thanks to their woven composition. They deliver exceptional control over heavy cover situations or when battling powerful fish species like bass or pike.

Step 2: Preparing Your Reel for Line Loading

Prior to loading any fishing line onto your reel, it’s important to make a few preparations to ensure a seamless process.

Inspecting Your Reel

Carefully examine your reel for any signs of damage or wear. Check the line guide, bail arm, and spool tension knob to ensure they are in good working condition. If you notice any issues, make necessary repairs or replacements before proceeding.

Cleaning Your Reel

Remove any dirt, debris, or old fishing line from your reel by using a soft cloth and mild cleaning solution. This step helps maintain optimal performance and prevents potential line tangling during casting.

Step 3: Attaching the Fishing Line to the Reel

Now that you have chosen your preferred fishing line and prepped your reel accordingly, it’s time to attach the line securely.

Tying an Arbor Knot

An arbor knot is commonly used to secure fishing lines onto reels effectively. Start by passing the tag end of your selected fishing line through the hole located at the center of your spool. Next, make an overhand knot around both standing lines while leaving some slack for later adjustment. Once completed, tighten this knot firmly against the spool surface.

Step 4: Loading Fishing Line onto Your Reel

The following steps will guide you on how to load fishing line properly onto your reel:

Tension Adjustment

Prioritize maintaining steady tension on the incoming fishing line throughout this step; this can be achieved either by having someone hold it tautly behind you or attaching it temporarily to something sturdy nearby.

Filling Backing Line (Optional)

If desired or when targeting large game fish species requiring extended fighting capabilities (such as saltwater species), consider adding a backing line. Secure the backing line to your reel spool using an arbor knot, followed by wrapping it tightly around the spool multiple times until you achieve a suitable foundation.

Attaching Main Fishing Line

Create another arbor knot to attach your chosen fishing line to the backing or directly onto the spool if no backing is used. Ensure both knots are firm and tight before proceeding.

Line Winding Process

To prevent potential tangling issues, place the filler spool on a flat surface with its label side facing up. Thread your main fishing line through rod guides in reverse order while allowing it to pass through a clean cloth soaked in water occasionally – this helps reduce friction during winding. Slowly rotate the reel handle clockwise, ensuring even tension throughout as your new fishing line neatly wraps around the reel’s spool.


Congratulations! You have successfully loaded fishing line onto your reel following our step-by-step guide. By carefully selecting appropriate fishing lines, properly preparing your reel, securely attaching lines utilizing reliable knots, and loading them systematically, you are now ready for an enjoyable angling experience. Remember that practicing good maintenance habits will only enhance performance and prolong equipment lifespan – ensuring countless memorable moments on those idyllic days spent casting out into shimmering waters.

We hope this comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights into mastering how to load fishing line on a reel effectively. Next time you head out for some angling adventures, take pride in knowing that every cast starts with perfectly loaded fishing gear!